Pass It On: Santa's Workshop

These full-grown men makes unlikely elves, except at Christmastime.

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- Posted on Nov 25, 2014

Santa working on a toy in his workshop

One day 13 years ago, I noticed a twinkle in my dad’s eye. “This guy in my woodworking club, Irv,” Dad said. “We’re going to help him make Christmas presents for kids.”

Irv had been making toys in his home workshop, and invited the rest of the Mason Dixon Woodworkers to come over to join him. Fifteen of the guys decided to play elves.

The first year they made a few hundred toys and delivered them to children’s charities in the area. The kids’ faces lit up. My dad was overwhelmed. He grew up during the Depression and remembered what it felt like to wonder if Santa would make it to his house.

Irv passed away in 2005. His widow told the club he’d asked her to let the guys keep using his workshop. And they did.

These days more than 50 Santa’s helpers work year-round to produce more than 1,000 trains, dinosaurs, building blocks and doll beds. They’ve even found a local knitting group to make blankets for the beds.

Using your woodworking and crafting skills to bring kids Christmas joy—I bet that would put a twinkle in your eye too.

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